Monday, April 9, 2007

Diets - Tips for Getting Started and Keeping Going

Every day there are more headlines on the escalating statistics of diabetes and obesity in children and adults. I discovered the importance of eating well from a young age. Because my mother's cooking was so delicious, I was never tempted by sweets as a child nor did I snack on junk food between meals. I've carried these eating habits into adulthood.

Junk food is loaded with salt, sugar, trans fat, preservatives, artificial coloring etc. So, when people question tamari's (or soy sauce) sodium content, I explain that this is my main salt intake for the day. My "no recipes, no measuring, no calorie counting" uses few and fresh ingredients with good brands of Asian sauces without MSG. BTW, many snack foods contain some form of MSG, that's why it's so addictive.

In recent reports and criticisms of "Chinese" restaurant food as being unhealthy my response is, "Just say NO to chop suey!" Most of these restaurants have two menus, one for the Chinese and one for the uneducated palette that craves and assumes Chinese food is salty, deep fried foods with thick goopy sauces. See my video in the side bar, Ho Wok Mei Intro.

The Miami Beach Pritikin Longevity Center's nutritionist hired me to develop tasty dishes with Asian flavors. I've used one of their techniques of cooking in sauce which is included in my Wok Star Kit DVD. Pritikin's "no fat" approach to cooking, combined with their strict food exchanges, was difficult for many of their clients to follow. People find my "Easy Style" very liberating and easy to accomplish.

My approach is adaptable to ANY diet.

Low carb dieters will love it (Weight Watchers, Atkins, Zone, etc. South Beach Diet, Sugar Busters etc.) because you just need to cut back or eliminate the starch and you've got an endless number of meals with the perfect combination of protein and fresh vegetables. This is how my husband, Ralph and I eat nearly everyday. Easy and quick to prepare, little to wash up.

Ralph only started cooking after 19 years of marriage. I never feel I need to rush home to cook dinner anymore. His amusing, "Wok Up and Smell the Coffee" on my "Easy Style" DVD will inspire and encourage you with yummy breakfast alternatives. You can also view in side bar, we uploaded to Youtube. He's had over 22,000 views and garnered some fabulous responses, feel free to add yours. Those of you who hate to cook, are you paying attention? It's never too late to start.

Wok cooking is a great way to engage the whole family especially children, who LOVE to help out (read "Cooking with Kids"). If you keep it to a simple one-dish meal, I KNOW you'll love wok cooking once you start. The saying, "It's the journey, not the destination" couldn't be more true. You'll enjoy your time in the kitchen as well as the meal.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have. My brother passed away from diabetes, so I want to encourage and help anyone who is ready for a lifestyle change. It's EASY when you have the right tools and techniques. Now, read Ralph's personal story about weight loss.


  1. Hi Eleanor! I'm very flattered that you found my stir-fried rice recipe decent (it was a very simple attempt). Since we have so many food allergies in our family, it has been helpful for us to learn about new cooking techniques and foods from cultures around the globe. If I didn't live all the way in MA I would come to one of your cooking classes! I love your ideas - especially cooking fresh, fast food (homemade) without worrying about precise measurements and recipes. Very creative and great ideas for kids, and helpful for people who are allergic to many types of foods. Happy Chinese New Year! My brother actually lives in Shanghai so we watched the fireworks last year via Skype out his apt. window! I will continue to read more of your blog/website, and pass it on.

  2. Hi Angela, great you like my easy approach to cooking. It's not hard if you keep it simple. Do take a look at my Kit because that's the main reason I put this together because even people in Miami never end up coming to my class!!! I still have over 400 on my waiting list. It's more about a commitment to change your mindset to cooking and eating. The biggest complaint I hear is 'not having time', so I want to show people if they repurpose cooking time to be more enjoyable, they could and would do it EVERYDAY. Whew, make sense? Thanks for helping spread the word, let me know if you have any questions.

  3. I'm sorry about your brother. My father died from diabetes too (and cancer) two years ago. People have a different mindset about Chinese cooking. I think eating habits are getting worst too in Asia. They said they don't have time to cook but that's not true. Thanks for the tips


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